Week 7 Blog Assignment


I chose the scene “The Lost Diadem” from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 to focus on editing. I picked this scene partially because I love the movie, and also because it was the first one that came to mind while going over the elements of editing. Since it is a more recent film with a very high budget, the filmmakers had a lot more to work with than most other films.

Something that makes this scene so memorable is the way it smoothly transitions from Harry and Luna’s conversation, to the battle beginning outside the castle, to Voldemort beginning his attack, and then back to the castle where Harry tries to speak with Rowena. The rhythmic relation between these scenes manipulates space as it shows that the two different conversations take place far apart from each other.  It gives the opportunity for an establishing shot, which is vital to this scene because it is right before the battle occurs and the audience can see Hogwart’s protection from Voldemort’s point of view. This very effectively creates the relationship between the outside and the inside of the castle. It also controls the story time because it shows two unrelated events occurring in the same scene. The way that there are faint “booms” and sparks in the background of Harry and Rowena’s conversation connects the two shots as well.

Focusing on the shots where Harry is speaking with Rowena, there are a lot of elements of editing that make what would be a boring scene, much more enjoyable to watch. Since Rowena is a ghost, she moves quickly and freely in and out of the hallway the two characters are in. Not only does this create for many different camera angles, but it emphasizes Harry’s desperation as he briskly follows her and begs for her help.

By taking a closer look at editing I was able to appreciate this movie even more. It is not  just the plot and characters of a movie that are important, but how they are presented as well.



2 thoughts on “Week 7 Blog Assignment

  1. More on the conversation between Helena and Harry: As Harry is telling Helena that he wants to destroy the diadem and frantically chases her around, the cuts are much quicker. When we settle on her, as she says a few sentences, the cuts lengthen. This contrasts the urgency of Harry’s task with Helena’s calmer demeanor. Obviously, Harry’s got more at stake if Voldemort takes over than Helena does, and this is reflected in the shot lengths.
    Also, since we talked about sound today, I noticed this: when she gets more emotional, the music cuts out and her yelling (and the ghosty wind sound that accompanies it) gets louder. Once she’s done, she music fades back in and the somber yet urgent mood returns. This also creates contrast between the frantic, hopeless mood and the emotional outbursts that are bound to accompany such tragic circumstances.
    Also, I liked your observation that not only images but sound connects the goings-on outside the castle with the inside. The explosions and sparks of blue really do create a spatial relationship between all of the scenes we see in this short clip.

  2. The camerawork in this scene really stood out to me because as Helena is talking to Harry we get multiple different camera angles which not only distorts our perception of space, but also time. The part of the scene which shows hundreds of spells being cast at the castle is also shown in the background, when we hear the loud exploding noises as Harry turns around in alarm. I also like how you pointed out the establishing shot in the beginning, because we get a sense of how large the Hogwarts castle is and the amount of spells that have to be cast to protect it. The way the scene played out and transitioned from Luna and Harry, to Flitwick, and then to Voldemort is a good editing technique because we know what is happening from several different points of view and it plays with our perception of space and time.

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